Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: When you need a Friend to move a Body...

I am feeling quite jealous of Drew Peterson and Bobby Cutts. I can't think of a single friend who would help me dispose of a corpse, especially one that happened to be related to me. Now, we don't know yet why Drew Peterson's alleged helper tried to commit suicide the day after it is claimed he helped Drew move one rather large barrel out of his house the day after his wife, Stacy, went missing. Maybe this alleged incident is unrelated to Stacy's disappearance, but if it does turn out that Drew's wife was in the container, I wanna know why I have no friends that would be this helpful in my time of need? Why would Drew have these friends, and Bobby Cutts have these friends and not me? Is it because Peterson and Cutts are fun guys or because everyone trusts a cop and doesn't ask what is in the barrel or bundle? Is it a male thing to be able to get this very supportive friends?

"Say, Drew, it is awfully kind of you to pack up all these old clothes to give to the poor. Kind of heavy stuff...winter coats? Well, I hope the homeless find the stuff....here's the shovel back, Drew."

"Say, Bobby, this is a beautiful park. Too bad we had to cart along a third party to ruin the mood. Oh, we are leaving her here in this brush? Cool...."

If there are any of you folks out there who know the meaning of being a best friend, send me an email. I just might need your help one day when I decide to take care of business. Thanks!

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Last Photo of Madeleine McCann: Fact or Fake?

Some people think that the final photo of Madeleine McCann at the pool with Gerry and her sister, Amelie, is a forgery. The claim is that the photo really was only of Gerry and Amelie and that Madeleine was added in through photo enhancement, a ploy to cover up the fact she was already dead by early afternoon on day she was said to have gone missing.

I have to admire the effort to consider this possibility and the effort put out to analyze all the details of the photo and question some of the elements. It is always good to be curious enough to delve into an aspect of a case and see if there could be any clues there.

In this case, I would have to say the explanations of the photo being a fake are not strong enough for me to believe that Maddie’s death/disappearance occurred earlier than 6 PM in the evening.

My thoughts on the photo:

1) While it is true the picture is not perfectly composed with a centering of the threesome (and if Madeleine is not in the picture, then Gerry and Amelie are in the middle), this is not all that uncommon. With the advent of electronic photography, photos are snapped much more carelessly than when one had to pay for developing the prints. Cameras now are used more often as spontaneous recorders of events rather than composed photos for display.

2) That Madeleine’s outline is not overlapped by any person or object is likely just coincidence. If one snaps enough photos, some of them will have isolated objects.

3) The fact the brother is not in the photo simply means he was running about. Again, this is not a posed family portrait.

4) The fact Madeleine is laughing at something out of sight and her father and sister are not laughing is not particularly meaningful. Children tend to laugh spontaneously at whatever they think is funny. Sometime this is just something that strikes them amusing such as their big toe or an expression on someone’s face.

5) The fact that Madeleine is not in a swimsuit proves little. The outfits on the girls look like play outfits and the trio just happened by the pool area and sat down to relax and dangle their feet in the water.

6)The mo st telling clue in this photo that tends to go against the possibility of any forgery is in the clothing of Madeleine and Amelie. Take Maddie out of the picture and what you have is a little girl dressed in a horribly clashing outfit; an orange play suit and a fancy pink hat. Mothers do not tend to put such an outfit on their children and let them out of the house that way (especially a mother who is as fashion conscious as Kate). Maddie’s white hat would look better with her clothing.

The sportier white hat on Madeleine’s head does not clash with her girlier pink dress-like outfit, but that pink hat on Amelie’s head would go with it better. Put the two girls together on an outing and my guess is they started off with the better matching hat, and through play, the girls ended up with the other’s hat on their heads.

It really makes little sense that this photo would be manufactured. If Madeleine had been missing for the majority of the day, there would be far too long a period of time to account for and greater likelihood that Maddie’s invisibility would have been noticed. Furthermore, if she was killed in the morning, it would have been far easier for the McCanns to simply claim that while they were out at the playground or popping in and out of stores while they were shopping, they turned around and Maddie was gone. It is a much simpler story.

But, if Maddie died in the apartment while Gerry was at tennis, or after he came back, or during the tapas bar rendezvous, then the children were already in for the night and the chances of an abduction from the apartment story being created makes far more sense.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Criminal Profiling 101

I began writing this post about my observations of Gerry and Kate McCann for the purpose of our discussion here on the disappearance of little Madeleine. The Spanish television interview of Gerry and Kate McCann was actually the first time I studied anything about the case. Yes, I know, I may be one of five people on the planet that doesn’t know anything about it, but circumstances have kept me from following this or any other case lately. Anyway, I started to go back in time to observe other things about the McCann’s statements and behavior as well as any available facts and crime scene evidence to see if my observations were supported. I did not find much reliable information, let alone fact, that could be used to support anything. After reading several press and media reports and associated discussion, what I did find is that we have the very best discussion going on anywhere here at The Daily Profiler.

Emotions always run high when people discuss the disappearance of a small child, and generally, their comments reflect these emotions and are not based on logical thought or scientific fact. However, I am very impressed with several of the comments made here on our blog. Perhaps because the events and behavior exhibited by many of those involved is unusual (OK-bizarre), and not easily attributed to factors we are familiar with, it has caused many to think a little deeper. Many of our readers have shown some good critical thinking skills in their comments and the questions they raise. So when I saw the extent of unconfirmed information attributed to “unnamed sources close to the investigation” that is being reported as fact by many members of the press it gave me the idea to change the focus of my post from the McCanns to how critical thinking is applied in criminal profiling and investigation. It is also very useful for reading your daily newspaper in general. I kept the first paragraph from the post I started writing about the McCanns to explain some of what criminal profiling is about. Here goes….

It is important to keep the following in mind, but maybe not for the reason you think. I’ll explain in a moment. I want to make it clear that this is not a professional analysis of the McCann case, nor a critical review of any law enforcement officer, agency, technique, or procedure; and I certainly am not attempting to make a clinical diagnosis of any kind. The only person qualified to diagnose diseases and disorders of the body and mind is a clinician or doctor; and plenty of them have no business doing it either. Oops. Bet I just lost a few of you there. Well not so fast Grasshopper. Stay with me please.

You may disagree with my low regard of doctors and so dismiss what I said out of hand. Or maybe you took offense at my statement and think I’m full of crap, this is boring, etc; which it may very well be for those not interested in learning about criminal profiling and investigations. Others may have thought “I didn’t know there are bad doctors” and now you believe it as fact, simply because you read it here.

Guess what? WE ARE ALL WRONG!!! My comment about doctors and the example reactions above is called Bias.

We all carry around our own preconceived ideas and opinions on issues of small and large importance whether we consciously realize it or not. It is difficult to avoid since we are continuously bombarded with information designed to influence our opinion. This information comes from newspapers, radio, television, and personal contact with others. Here are some ways critical thinking is used to evaluate a particular claim or statement:

What is the statement or claim, and who is making it?

Before you accept information as fact, determine if the person has something to gain by making the statement. You must also ask yourself if your own assumptions or preconceptions have created bias or influence how you view someone else’s statements or ideas.

Great credibility is associated with public figures and persons in positions of authority, and while we can learn from them on subjects within their field of expertise, their statements or claims should not prevent you from asking good questions of your own.

Are there other plausible explanations for the statement or claim (or event)?
It is possible to have two or more explanations that explain an event or claim. The Law of Parsimony says we should accept the simpler explanation that requires the least number of assumptions.

When events or behaviors appear to be correlated, it does not prove that one event or behavior caused the other. Further investigation is required to discover if they are related because of a third event or behavior.

An open mind free of preconceptions allows for objective evaluation of facts and evidence. Therefore, bias must be identified and removed from critical thought and scientific analysis to produce reliable results and appropriate conclusions.

Sorry, I am going to get a little technical here because it is necessary to understand a little about scientific inquiry in order to apply it.

Scientific principles are the foundation of all scientific inquiry. Modern forensic and other biological sciences are supported by three thoroughly tested and validated principles based on the knowledge that all living and non-living matter is governed by the same laws of physics and chemistry. These principles are natural casualty (all events can be traced to natural causes within our ability to understand), uniformity in space and time (natural laws do not change with time or distance), and common perception (people view natural events in a similar manner.) Common perception applies only to scientific study because it is limited to objective observations that produce reliable information. Common perception does not apply to subjective value systems that vary among individuals such as religious, moral, or cultural beliefs and personal views, or opinion. The ability to keep an open mind is elemental to the advancement of science. Scientific conclusions are always tentative and subject to modification required by new observations or experiments.

Yes, Deductive Criminal Profiling and Behavior Analysis is a scientific endeavor because it uses the scientific method to draw conclusions based on known facts borne of objective observations, considered thought, accurate communication, skill, and experience. A criminal profile is derived from crime scene analysis, including physical evidence and Victimology, critical thinking, analytical logic, evidence dynamics, and other scientific principles used in forensics. The scientific method is applied to these elements producing logical deductions that lead to well-reasoned conclusions regarding offender characteristics and behavioral evidence. Therefore, arguments that support each offender characteristic are based on the premise that if the underlying facts and evidence are proven to be true, then so must be the logical conclusions arrived at by studying them. Imagine the affect bias, no matter how small, can have on making observations when evaluating evidence and other investigative tasks.

Why is all this important? For starters, when a criminal profiler is part of a criminal investigation, they, like everyone else who discovered, processed, or evaluated evidence in the case can be called to testify in court. Identifying the suspect of a crime is not enough; the methods and evidence used to identify and build a case against a suspected offender must be sufficient to convict him in court.

Removing the influences of bias from our work does not mean we have completely eliminated a particular opinion or preconception from our minds and so we must constantly remain vigilant for bias.

Those in law enforcement and related fields as well as professions such as physicians, etc. who work closely with the general public on an individual basis are taught to maintain an emotional distance from the people they interact with in order to be objective which will allow them to be thorough and accurate in the performance of their duty. Since these types of professionals often meet individuals experiencing trauma, or some other extremely personal or stressful event, great importance is placed on leaving their emotions at the door.

Sorry, but lack of emotion does not equal objectivity- nor does it increase productivity in many cases. Additionally, it is generally believed that separating ones emotions from personal contact with individuals helps maintain mental health by preventing emotional overload and burn out for these types of professionals. In the last 24 years, I have met many investigators who were the “no emotion” type. I can’t think of one who was not an asshole with the personality of a wet dishrag, often with poor interview skills. Remember- canvassing, re-canvassing, interviewing, and re-interviewing are very critical in successful investigations. You get the picture.

Conversely, an effective criminal profiler must possess a range of valuable professional characteristics including an enduring passion for examining facts, seeking answers, and resolving cases combined with the unwavering self-discipline to put aside personal opinions, pride, and career ambition. Notice the word “passion” which infers emotion. Pride and ambition are common sources of bias; yet these qualities are allowed, even admired and encouraged by many law enforcement agencies. Moreover, these influences have proven to be at the least, minor impediments, and at most, disastrous to an investigation or even to public safety. Since we must identify bias to avoid its influence, it should be considered that emotions such as passion and empathy could be useful qualities for those in public service as it can be a powerful motivation to promote dedicated effort. It is entirely possible to perform objective analysis and evaluation of victims, witnesses, and evidence if one remains vigilant of all forms of bias by using critical thinking techniques to purposely avoid bias such as personal opinion and ambition from influencing deductions and conclusions.

Donna Weaver

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: McCann Detective 100 Percent Full of It

The McCanns either are the most naïve people on the face of the earth or they are playing a very expensive and wasteful publicity game with the donations from kind folks who only want to help a little child be found.

Those Spanish investigators, The Metodo 3 agency, are crooks, plain and simple. They are milking this case for the money it is bringing in. They have a six month contract and stated that they would surely find her within five months (not one month - as that would end the cash flow all too quickly). Francisco Marco, who heads the team of Spanish private detectives: “We’re 100 per cent sure she is alive. We are very close to finding the kidnapper.”

What a lying scumbag! First of all, the only way, Mr. Marco, you can be 100 per cent sure Madeleine is alive is if you have her locked up in the basement of your house and you fed her this morning. This would mean you are a kidnapper and a pedophile. Is this what you are claiming, Mr. Marco?

If not, you are a despicable, money grubbing creep of another sort. If the McCanns came to a decent private investigator for an investigation, he would tell them right up front the chance of finding their daughter alive are near zero. He would tell them that should a local pedophile have snatched Maddie, she would have been killed within hours. If a pedophile ring had snatched Maddie, she would have been dead as soon as you started you campaign with her eye anomaly being broadcast to the world. He would tell them that if he started searching for a hidden Madeleine and broadcast his every move as to where he thought she was, then Maddie would surely be dead by the time he reached the location to retrieve her. He would tell the McCanns that the most he could do is review the police investigation to make sure they hadn’t missed anything and follow up on truly rational leads that had been ignored and overlooked. He would tell them he might be able to find out what happened to Madeleine and help bring the guilty party to justice, but the chances of bringing Madeleine home alive were extremely unlikely.

So, why have the McCanns hired this fraud? Are they being conned by Mr. Marco or are they using Mr. Marco to con us? Is it all for show and distraction or are the McCanns really innocent of hurting their child and are so desperate they will fall for the worst excuse for a private detective agency I have run across in a long time?

Gerry and Kate, fire them if you want to be responsible adults. Stop using the public’s money for your charades, either to impress us with your sincerity as to not knowing what happened to Maddie, or to fool yourselves into believing she is alive if you are being sincere. At least pay for this idiot with your own money, if you want to play this silly game.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, November 19, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Crime of Plastic Surgery

Yes, I think plastic surgery for women (who haven't been in an accident or been born with some horrific birth defect) is a crime. We are being held hostage by a sick societal view that female aging is unacceptable and if we don't get ourselves to the doctor to get cut up and refashioned, we are unpleasing to look at.

Why are plastic surgery and Botox being more and more popular? Why are we women buying into this foolishness? Can’t we just be ourselves? While it is true, in a minor way, that coloring one’s hair, getting acrylic nails, using make up and wearing a push-up bra is enhancing ourselves in a somewhat unnatural way, these accouterments are relatively minor embellishments and it is not unreasonable to expect that an individual might strive to look her best. I have no problem with a person working out, dressing nicely, and doing cosmetic touch ups to ones external surface. I do, however, think plastic surgery and Botox are blights on society.

These extreme measures are not only dangerous, but so unnatural that the changes achieved are both creepy and too far outside the norm for one’s natural age and physique that our perceptions and expectations have become skewed and unrealistic. Hence, we believe that we should never age, our beauty should stay forever, and if we start to look older, we are horrified at our decline.

Since I do a lot of television work, I have received emails as to which plastic surgeon I have gone to for my own improvement. I have to laugh because I am guessing the viewer must have caught me on a good make-up and lighting day. I am dead set against knives and needles. I am fifty-two years old and I think I look it. I plan to look fifty-three next July and fifty-four the year after that!

Why have I made this decision? I have a number of reasons. My top reason is I think it is horribly unfair to women to have to play this game of youth. Why should we have to keep trying to look young and perky and thirty instead of being allowed to become a more mature woman, beautiful at whatever number of years we are? Why shouldn’t we be able to be attractive older females that match the look of men of the same years? Why shouldn’t we do our best to be good natural examples for other women of our same age?

My other reasons include not wanting succumbing to this trend is that I do not think getting a surgical procedure is worth the risk for vanity, not wanting to get on the never ending treadmill of one more surgery to fix yet another part of the face or body, and not wanting to deal with pain and the general ickiness of it all.

I have decided to grow older with dignity and just be happy with myself. I continue to exercise and dance so I feel healthy, groom myself so I look pleasing to myself and others, and I keep smiling so that I will be a cheery looking 100-year-old woman when I hit the century mark.

So, ladies, how about it? Can I get an amen? Can we join together and stop all this plastic surgery nonsense and just live life? Please? If we get too ancient looking to get on television and or date men who want women half their age, so what? We still have each other, our children will love us no matter what we look like, and the Peace Corps will take us until we are eighty! What more do we need?

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: School Mass Murders not for Americans Only

It turns out the Finnish boy who shot up his school killing nine of his classmates had been on line exchanging emails with another kid who had planned to do a Columbine on his own school (and thankfully has been arrested). The Internet is providing loners with something they never have had in the past: a demented peer group that they can be part of without actually having to hang around with them. These disturbed kids can now surf the Internet to find like minds instead of only being able to choose mates from just those available teens in their community. In this larger ocean of humanity they are sure to eventually find some other sick puppies out there who glorify violence and mass murder in the same way they do.

This new accessibility to ideas, encouragement, and validation is a serious problem for society. Psychopaths who are able to plug into such a system find fertile ground for sowing ideas that will eventually cause them to act out perverse behaviors. Rape sites, murder sites, bomb-making sites: sites like these allow teens with personality disorders to develop their fantasies. If these sites didn’t exist, the psychopath might never reach that level of obsession and simply be an annoying human being with slightly peculiar ideas, an oddball, but not necessarily a danger to others.

A diet of violence and a hungry psychopath is a deadly combination. Unfortunately, the Internet contains a veritable smorgasbord of evil ideation and the price to consume it is negligible.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Friday, November 16, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: "My Bad!"

I was just reading this horrifying story about how there is a rise in homeless men being attacked a beaten by teenagers who get a kick out of violent aggression. In one case, four underage boys beat a fellow to death and then went about bragging of the crime. Now, CNN interviewed one of the convicted teens, Nathan Moore, claims it was a “mistake” and there was no premeditated plan to hurt the homeless man. Drinking and mob mentality caused this aberration of behavior.

Let’s think about this mistake: can it be a mistake?

Someone makes a mistake when they forget to set the alarm and are late for work.

Someone makes a mistake when they put a cup of salt in the cookie recipe instead of a cup of sugar.

Someone makes a mistake when they forgot to lock the baby gate and the child takes a tumble.

You don’t beat someone to death by mistake.
You don’t rape someone by mistake..
You don’t steal a car by mistake.

When you come right down to it, it is pretty near impossible to commit a felony crime by mistake. You have to really work at it.

But, even our court system buys into this mistake foolishness and gives a criminal a slap on the wrist because, after all, he just made a mistake and we should give him a second chance. When did our society start believing that crossing the line into criminal behavior is just accidental? I can’t even begin to imagine my children (now grown) burglarizing a neighbor’s house, or raping a female friend from the neighborhood, or setting someone’s home on fire. Yet, I know quite a few parents who do not think this is all that unusual behavior for teenagers; some actually accept criminal behavior as a rite of passage for kids. This kind of thinking is pretty darn scary.

If criminal behavior is but a mistake, we might as well decriminalize it. Wait, maybe we already have. Probation is what we give to first time criminals because they just made a mistake and it takes quite a few mistakes sometimes before the criminal justice system finally believes the criminal is actually making a choice.

It is about time we realize that he made the choice the first time out and make him pay for it.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: How to become a Nonsuspect with a Simple Explanation

A Michigan prosecutor says the two vehicles seen in the vicinity of Jodi Parrack, the little eleven-year-old Michigan girl who went missing while riding her bike and then was found dead by her mother in a cemetery, have been eliminated as suspicious because the drivers had “innocent reasons” for being in the area.

Innocent reasons? Does she mean when she questioned the men (and I am assuming they are men because if they were women this likely would be a pretty good reason to eliminate the vehicles are involved in the crime) they didn’t say, “Oh, I was cruising the neighborhood looking for young girls to rape.”

Innocent reasons? Could this be the men said they worked in the area, were putting flowers on their mommy’s grave, or going shopping? What does the prosecutor think the killer would tell her? The truth?

Serial killers are well known for killing near their homes, or on route from their jobs, or on their way to pick up some groceries for their wives. Many times this is exactly their excuse or their “alibi.”

Unless the drivers of those vehicles have airtight alibis for the time in question or are incapable of committing such a crime (like being in a wheelchair and using hand controls to operate the gas and brake), then those vehicles should still be considered possibly linked to the crime.

It is amazing how often police investigators and prosecutors have eliminated a suspect from the investigation because he “seemed nice,” his girlfriend or mother said he was at home at the time in question, or he has no previous record. Once this happens, the rest of the investigation is a waste of time because all other persons of interest will simply be the wrong guy.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, November 12, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: All the Wrong Emotions

People often get upset when fingers are pointed at them in criminal cases, The suspect will say, "Why me?" because he has no insight into that the behavior he exhibits are not the norm for the situation. Their supporters, often kind people who thinking judging others is wrong; that everyone is not the same and their behaviors, just because they do not represent how the majority would act under the same circumstances, doesn't mean anything. I beg to differ. Human beings tend to have similar behaviors, albeit different levels of them depending on sex, age, culture, and circumstances. When one accounts for these, there should be an expected response. For example, it is not normal for pretty much anyone to say, "Oh, well," as he watches his house burn to the ground. This reaction is grounds to check whether he set the fire to collect the insurance. The only reason one might determine this behavior isn't a red flag is that we know the guy is a rich hippie freak (inherited money) and he changed residences regularly and didn't keep much in the way of sentimental possessions. If this were so, friends would immediately tell the cops about the guy's nature and then the fire would not seem suspicious.

Drew Peterson's wife goes missing. He claims she left him for another guy. He also claims their marriage is good. Now, let's assume he really believes this to be true.

His reaction should be:

1) I am pissed as hell; she has broken my heart
2) I am pissed as hell; she has deserted her children.

Peterson seems to not even care his wife is missing.

Now, it has been quite a while since his wife has not contacted anyone. Her cell phone hasn't been used since she "left."

His reaction should be:

1) Now, I am worried as hell. Maybe something DID happen to her after she called me and my children may never get their mother back.

Peterson only cares that the media is "harassing" his children and frightening them. Apparently, the fact the children don't know where there mother has gone isn't a concern to him

Wrong reactions. No good explanation why Peterson should act this way. Verdict: he makes a good suspect in the disappearance of his wife.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Malcolm Gladwell Disses Criminal Profilers

There is an article in the New Yorker this week by Malcolm Gladwell and he pretty much compares criminal profilers to charlatans and con artists. I can’t really get mad at the guy because I understand where he is coming from and why he is so annoyed at the what criminal profilers have claimed they are capable of predicting through crime scene analysis. I, myself, have been baffled at how some conclusions have been reached by a review of the evidence of the crime scene. How does someone surmise the killer has a stutter or drives a sports car by the way a girl is raped and strangled? I figured I was missing some amazing piece of analytical skill or someone was pulling a fast one.

I eventually learned that the profilers who came up with amazing stuff that doesn’t rely on science or logic:

1) got inside information that made them look damned brilliant when the suspect was caught and indeed he matched that piece of the profile
2) guessed and were simply lucky
3) guessed and no suspect was found to prove him wrong,
4) guessed and people forgot the part of the profile he got wrong or ignored it because the rest (read: the easier part) of the profile was right.

This is exactly the kind of criminal profiling concept I have been fighting against for the last decade. Criminal profiling is crime scene analysis with a heavy emphasis on behaviors of the victim and suspect. All conclusions should be based on science and logic and should be clearly explained. No guesses should be made just off the top of the head or from simply gut feelings. The criminal profiling process is but a method of analyzing a crime scene to come up with a reasonable a scenario as possible leading to the best next investigative choices to make. This is all that criminal profiling is; a method of analysis conducted by a criminal profiler to aid the police or by the detective himself to further his investigation.

Criminal profiling should not be a parlor trick nor should it be considered some magic or psychic answer to a perplexing crime. Neither should criminal profiling be tossed as a complete sham as Malcolm Gladwell has basically advocated; this would be a sad loss to law enforcement as criminal profiling skills are terribly needed by investigators on fresh crime cases and by detectives in the cold case squads. Too many crimes go unsolved and killers uncaught because of bad crime scene analysis that throws the investigation completely off track.

Criminal profiling is a very useful tool and I hope that a right perception of the field will encourage its proper use in the field of police investigation

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: American Gangsters: Frank Lucas and Denzel Washington

I just finished seeing "American Gangster" and I want to be the first to say, Denzel Washington owes America an apology. While I have respected some of Denzel's work in the past, I have come to the conclusion he is seriously lacking in the morals department. He played the part of Rubin Carter, the boxer turned murderer in “The Hurricane” and now he brings the character of Frank Lucas, drug kingpin and murderer, to the screen in “American Gangster.” I wouldn’t think negatively of Washington if he portrayed these men truthfully, but he seems perfectly willing to ignore history and veracity along with equally unethical Hollywood producers and writers. He even has the incredible lameness to claim he shouldn’t judge these men. Of Lucas, he says, “Basically, Frank’s a human being who’s done some awful things and paid the price for it.” As to Carter, Denzel introduced him as “a man of love” at the Golden Globe Awards.

WTF? Let’s take a quick look at these two men Denzel seems to think are nice enough guys. Rubin Carter is a nasty brutal psychopath who made a career out of robbing, assaulting, and murdering people. Just because he did a little boxing along with his many crimes means jackshit. He finally got out of prison on a technicality and Hollywood saw big money by making him a hero who was wrongly convicted. Carter also made a good sum of money of off of the lies he and the movie makers perpetuated and then he went of the speakers’ circuit, visiting colleges and getting honored for his “suffering due to injustice.” Frank Lucas, a psychopath of the nth degree, was a career criminal as a juvenile, destroyed countless lives and the fabric of the community in Harlem as a drug kingpin, and also murdered people (he admitted to one murder, put a hit out on his own brother, and as with all criminals and icebergs, what we see is only a tenth of what is really hidden from us). Now, Lucas is making millions off of his crimes again.

No, Denzel, neither man has just “done some awful things and paid the price for them.” Both men should have been executed or spent a lifetime in a hellhole. Instead, they got off lightly and are living the good life. Not only that, they are being lauded and treated as celebrities. Crime really does pay in this country because people like Denzel Washington, producer Ridley Scott and other producers, directors, and actors, don’t care about the truth as long as they make money. They abet these cold-blooded pieces of garbage in duping the American public about the damage they have caused to the health and welfare of the African-American community and to the lives of untold numbers of children and adults.

Furthermore, Denzel, neither of these men was a “good family men” as portrayed in these movies. They cared little about their children as no loving father puts his sons and daughters in danger, raises them in a criminal atmosphere, teaches them to thumb their noses at moral and ethical living, and leaves them stranded when they go to jail. The families of these “good family men” were pieces of crap as well. The wife of Frank Lucas was portrayed in the movie as an innocent, sweet girl, but in real life she was a self-serving criminal, spending quite a few years in jail for the crimes she committed. The mother of Lucas, that sweet little old lady in the movie in the form of Ruby Dee, knew damn well where her son’s money came from and what he was getting his brothers into (some more innocent fellas) and she didn’t care because she got to live in a big house. I am sure God didn’t think all that church attending and Thanksgiving prayers made up for the devastation Lucas caused in the world.

The real stories of Rubin Carter and Frank Lucas could have been fine depictions of how evil men destroy the world and how we must fight against them if we want our country to be a decent place to live. Children should see such movies and despise the psychopathic criminals in them and grow up to want to keep such people from wreaking havoc in our communities.

Instead, stars like Denzel Washington make role models out of repulsive human beings men and minimize their evil deeds; which makes Denzel pretty repulsive and evil himself. Maybe Denzel didn’t have to be much of an actor to represent these gangsters on screen; maybe he isn’t that much different from either one of them.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, November 5, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: What do Frozen Turkeys have to Do with Missing Persons?

I was reading through some posts concerning the Madeleine McCann case and there was much speculation on where little Maddie’s body could have been hidden, kept from decomposing, transported, and disposed of, should the parents be involved in her disappearance. Meanwhile, Stacy Peterson, the fourth wife of a police officer, has gone missing in Illinois and her friends and neighbors are combing the area for her body and police are dredging local ponds. If her husband killed her, where would he be likely to put her body?

It is an unpleasant, if not horrifying thought, to imagine someone handling a corpse, especially one that might be a child, one’s own child. What kind of mind can deal with disposing of a body, especially the body of a person who is an intimate part of your life? What happens in the brain that would allow someone to do some of the things we have seen before like dismembering a body or carrying it about it in stages of decomposition? The concept is so foreign to many people that they dismiss certain scenarios as impossible because they cannot conceive of doing such things themselves. They are unfamiliar with how another who is perhaps narcissistic or psychopathic and also possibly desperate can actually do pretty gruesome stuff with a person they once supposedly loved or cared for. Yet, the reality is that some people can indeed do such things.

For this very reason, an investigator cannot rule out bizarre possibilities when trying to locate a missing person. Many factors might play into what was done with a body. First of all, how the person was killed may affect choices. Is there a need to mask the cause of death or to destroy particular evidence of the implement of death? Is there a need to cover up prior physical or sexual abuse issues or drug issues? Any evidence the killer feels might identify him as the offender might cause the killer to destroy the body or parts of the body or work harder to make sure the body is never found.

If the killer is not afraid of being linked to the crime by relationship, location, or evidence, the body may easy to find, lying on the side of the road in plain view or left at the scene of the crime, perhaps in the victim’s apartment.

So, when a missing person is suspected of being dead, the detective must thoroughly investigate the victim’s life and those people involved in it. The answer to where the body lies may be within the details of the victim’s life and relationships.

Stacy Peterson’s body is likely going to be as hard to find as Lisa Stebic’s. Stebic’s husband says he sympathizes with Stacy’s husband because he knows how it feels to have a wife go missing and everyone suspects the husband had something to do with it. My guess is he can relate how nerve-racking it is to hope the searches never come near where one put the body.

So someone wrote that they wondered whether Madeleine’s body could be stored in a freezer. Many bodies have been kept that way but it usually requires a stand-alone freezer (one of those big storage types) and not a side-by-side in the kitchen (unless one is dismembering the body as well). If there was not one in any of the resort apartments (and it does seem unlikely that type of freezer would be present), her body would have had to be stored in a private home. The next question might be how long it would take a body to unfreeze. I looked up turkeys and some of the big one’s take four days! I find that rather interesting in the sense of possible DNA in the McCann’s hire vehicle meaning a frozen body transported to another location shouldn’t unfreeze in that short a time to leave DNA and hair. I don’t find myself particular convinced of the freezer theory because of lack of freezer space available in the resort rental units and the theoretical DNA in the hire car.

So, if the McCann’s were involved and there was really DNA in the hire car, I would lean more toward the possibility her body was in a shallow grave in a drive sandy area and moved when it was feared the searches would locate the body. The decomposition would likely, in that climate, to cause mummification, a drying of the body, making it less difficult to move, but not making it impossible for evidence of that move to be left behind by stressed out and panicked participants.

If it turns out the McCanns had zero to do with the crime, the body is either on private property of a pedophile (which would tend to eliminate Murat) or, the body is in the ocean and will never be found.

It will be interesting to see if Maddie is ever found what methodology the guilty party or parties used to prevent discovery of a body and any evidence.

BTW, for those of you who think Lisa Stebic, Stacy Peterson, Natalee Holloway, and Madeleine McCann are really alive, I applaud your sense of hope. I am a lot more cynical, and though there is occasionally a miracle or surprise ending, chances of anyone of these four missing persons showing up alive is near zero. The two married women had children they loved and husbands they were afraid of. This equation usually means the disappearance of the wife is the result of a husband offing her. And Natalee and Madeleine were both blonde, but sex rings can find lots of blondes without resorting to high profile kidnappings that might expose them. Natalee and Madeleine have almost zero chance of being found alive.

Let’s just hope, then, that we can at least find out what happened to them and see that justice is served.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: "Call the Cops! There is a Woman in Psychological Trouble in Aisle Three!"

I was introduced to a new concept while doing Nancy Grace last night (hmm....that doesn't sound quite right, now does it?). One of the other guests aired the view that a woman who was caught shoplifting (at 38 years old and her tenth arrest) doesn't need jail time but counseling. Clearly, this expert declared she has psychological problems and we shouldn't be taking up space in the prisons with this woman when there are pedophiles who need to be kept inside. Interesting argument....

I am trying to wrap my head around this thinking. We have laws on the record and police to catch persons who break these laws, but this is really only a psychological screening process set up to identify citizens in need of mental health counseling? Considering the woman's lawyer actually said she had already been in counseling and was already on probation for another crime, at what point do we decide that the woman is actually a criminal as opposed simply an emotionally disturbed individual?

At what point do we decide breaking the law is actually deserving of punishment and removal from society as opposed to a free offer of psychological services? Couldn't a pedophile be just as emotionally disturbed as a shoplifter? What about a murderer? Isn't he so emotionally distraught that he can't help himself from striking out?

I have no problem with criminals receiving mental health care. I just think they ought to do their time as well. After all, what is the point of even having laws if breaking them is only considered a cry for help? If this is what the law is all about, I think we should take all laws off the books and set up a system of emotional guards instead of security guards. The next time this woman tries to walk out of a store with hundreds of dollars of stolen goods, one of these guards can get out his megaphone and shout, "Lady in need of counseling! Lady in need of counseling!" Maybe she will get the message and stop by customer service and pick up her free counseling coupon to be redeemed at any counseling counter at her local Walmart store.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown